About the Short-Term Numbers

Sources of Projected Employment Data

State short-term occupational projections are developed in the labor market information sections of each State Employment Security Agency.

Projection Period

The projection period includes the short-term period up to 2018 for all participating states. Participating states may project from different quarters within the base and projected years. For example they may project from 2016:Q2 to 2018:Q2 or from 2016:Q4 to 2018:Q4.

Occupational Data

Each State Employment Security Agency, in cooperation with the Bureau of Labor Statistics, uses the Occupational Employment Statistics (OES) report to gather occupational employment data. These OES data are the basis for the staffing patterns used in the projections. The data collected reflect the Standard Occupational Classification (SOC). (Many occupations are not identified separately in the SOC and are included in aggregate categories not shown on this site.)

Employment may not be sufficient to warrant the development of occupational projections in every occupation in each State, or the data may be confidential. Occupations for which projections are not available are indicated with an (NA) for 'not available.'

For most States, employment estimates are rounded to the nearest 10. Numerical employment change and average annual openings are rounded to the nearest 10. Employment less than 50 is shown as (NA). Numbers with an absolute value of less than 10 are identified with an (NA). If the numerical employment change is shown as (NA), the percent employment change is also shown as (NA).

Data for States currently not included will be added as they become available.

Numeric Employment Change

Numeric employment change is the difference in the number of jobs between the base and projected years. A positive number means employment is growing due to the creation of new jobs. A negative number indicates employment is declining in the occupation.

Numeric change is important to consider along with percent change, because both types of change are affected by the size of employment in an occupation. Occupations with a large base of numeric employment may be creating large numbers of new jobs yet have small percent changes. Occupations with a small base of numeric employment may be creating a small number of new jobs yet have large percent changes.

Percent Employment

Percent employment change indicates how fast employment is expected to increase or decrease during the projection period. The larger the positive percent change, the faster employment is growing. A large positive percent change is generally an indicator of favorable employment prospects. Likewise, the larger the negative percent change, the faster employment is declining, and the more unfavorable the employment prospects.

Average Annual Openings

Average annual openings are the sum of average annual new jobs and replacements. Average annual new jobs are the numeric change in employment over the projection period divided by the number of years in the projection period. Replacements are an estimate of the number of jobs that will arise from the need to replace workers who will change occupations, retire, or otherwise permanently leave the occupation. Occupations with declining employment will have average annual openings equal to replacement needs. Average annual openings are presented because job openings arise from both newly created jobs and the need to replace workers who permanently leave their jobs.

How Often are the Projections Updated?

Short-term employment projections are developed by each state and therefore are subject to work schedules and other related constraints of each state. Once the participating states have completed their next round of projections, updates will be made to this site.


Projection data accessible from this site are the responsibility of each agency that developed projections. The accuracy of projections for individual occupations is subject, of course, to error because of the many unknown factors that will affect the economy over the projection period. While occupational employment projections and related job outlook information can provide valuable inputs to the career decision-making process, they should not be the sole basis for a choice of career.